To boost incomes, employment & health, we need greater ambition from Ministers

31 August, 2016 - 13:36

Alison Johnstone MSP, Social Security & Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today highlighted an increase in deprivation in eleven local authority areas.

The latest Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, which looks at a range of factors including wages, jobs and health, shows that the council areas with the largest increases in deprivation are West Dunbartonshire, Midlothian, North Ayrshire & South Ayrshire.

Public confidence in Parliamentary scrutiny essential

31 August, 2016 - 10:47

Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, today welcomed a change in the Ministerial Code which means MSPs who are aides to Ministers cannot sit on the committees which scrutinise them.

The potential conflict of interest has been raised repeatedly over the years by the Scottish Greens.

Own currency fundamental to independent Scotland

30 August, 2016 - 12:54

Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance and Economy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today welcomed comments by internationally renowned economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz, who urged Scotland to consider its own currency if independent. 

Patrick Harvie MSP said: 

It's important we give people the choice to spend their final days at home

30 August, 2016 - 12:37

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health & Social Care spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today commented on new figures showing no increase in the time spent at home rather than in hospital in the final six months of life.

Health care charity Sue Ryder has also revealed that only one of Scotland’s 14 health boards provides a comprehensive out-of-hours service for people who are dying. 

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

If Ministers are serious about empowering teachers they should take their own guidance on board

29 August, 2016 - 14:20


Responding to publication of curriculum guidance for teachers, Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

"Over recent years teachers have been on the front line of huge changes in the education system in Scotland, resulting in a big increase in workload. Greens have long called for investment to give teachers more time to teach, while the Scottish Government has instead gone down the route of additional unnecessary testing. So it is with some bemusement I see that today’s guidance discourages unnecessary assessments.

Our focus must be on quality of employment, not just quantity

26 August, 2016 - 15:46

Responding to publication by the Scottish Government of a Labour Market strategy, Patrick Harvie MSP, Economy & Fair Work spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

Let’s make progress toward the stronger, diversified economy we need

Patrick Harvie MSP 26 August, 2016 - 10:31

The phoney war that is the annual GERS debate has broken out again. It’s all too predictable, but with Scotland’s public finances under scrutiny I make no apology for once again challenging the dominant assumptions about oil and gas. In 2014 the Green Yes campaign published figures showing that the multinationals operating in the North Sea were receiving around £1 billion worth of tax breaks from the UK Government every year – despite making huge profits.

To stop the first Scottish sanctions, all that’s needed is political will

Alison Johnstone MSP 25 August, 2016 - 14:33

Amid the uncertainty of Brexit, there’s a hard reality approaching from Scotland’s independence referendum. In April next year Scotland will take charge of the UK Government’s Work Programme and Work Choice schemes. The Work Programme in particular has a poor record of helping people into employment. We have a chance to do things differently.

Currently, benefit recipients can be referred to the Work Programme on a mandatory basis, and sanctions applied if they refuse to take part, or are deemed not to be properly engaging with it.

Further education should be accessible to all

25 August, 2016 - 09:56

The Scottish Greens today (25 Aug) highlighted an Audit Scotland's report into Scotland's college sector, showing that student numbers overall have decreased, with a steep decline in part-time learning. 

The report shows the biggest reductions are among women and people aged over 25.

Ross Greer MSP, Education spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

GERS: We urge a diverse economy

24 August, 2016 - 13:37

Commenting on today's GERS figures, Patrick Harvie MSP, Finance & Economy spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:

"These figures will inevitably set off another round of empty rhetoric, just as they do evey year, between those who think the SNP can do no wrong and those who think Scotland can never aspire to govern itself. In truth, the figures show what has been clear for years - that a strong future for Scotland's economy will depend on ending our reliance on oil and gas, and investing in the industries of the 21st century instead.